Sometimes I Think About Things…

Hello everyone.

IMG_5405

Sometimes, I think about how I would like to leave everything behind and move somewhere new. I would leave my little apartment with my purple bathroom that I love so much and start completely over, in a field I know nothing about. Sometimes I think about what it would be like if I moved to Vegas.

“Hi, my name is Eva, I’m a well-educated 20-something woman who just wants to wear a glittery costume and get paid to dance around a club all evening.”

IMG_5624

Sometimes I feel as if I’m in a constant swirl of trying to make connections, of trying to impress strangers, to prove my mettle as a “professional” adult. Most people around me have five-year plans and long-term career goals. The more I try to blend in, the more apparent it becomes that I’m always going to be me—a little bit goofy, a little bit too enthusiastic, and a tad bit doe-eyed about life in general. Add in a dash of neuroses and you have me in a nutshell. Like most people, my life certainly didn’t pan out the way I planned it to, and I’m not entirely sure what to do about it. I felt the sudden compulsion to make changes in my life, the equivalent of sticking bandaids on things that seem to be much more deeply affected.  I wanted to be more blonde, I wanted to start lifting weights, and I wanted to get a tattoo (or two). Ultimately, I wanted to stop trying to impress people with my perceived “quality of life.” I know that I don’t want to be someone who only looks good on paper.  I can’t imagine a life where the standard “What do you do/Where do you live/Who are you married to?” questions ultimately define me as a person.

I recently read an article by Noelle Hancock entitled “I Wrote an Essay About Moving to an Island and Scooping Ice Cream. I Wasn’t Prepared for the Response.”  It was, as I’m sure you can guess, a follow-up to a lifestyle piece she had written for Cosmopolitan years earlier about quitting her $95k-a-year-job and moving to an island in the Caribbean with no plan. I have a sudden respect for the people who have the urge to do things like this. A simple job seems to be wildly refreshing at times. I can easily imagine myself in an environment where my only job is to smile, wear the ridiculous outfit, and occasionally wave a glowstick. Sometimes I feel incredibly guilty for thinking about things like this because the little voice in my head yells “Oh my god! You graduated from one of the top universities in California! You can’t dance around in a bikini for a living!!”

Part of the reason I started blogging was that it forced me to be accountable. I couldn’t just write something on scratch paper and throw it away later because I was too embarrassed to share it. There are still plenty of things in my life that I’m embarrassed to share, but I’d like to think there’s a bit a bravery behind each post I publish. Especially when I write something as brazen as admitting that I have dreams of being a go-go dancer from time to time. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve written quite a bit about how lucky I feel to work in a field I’m so passionate about. Seeing and cultivating art almost everyday is something not very many people get to do, and even on the hard days, I’m immensely grateful for it.

But something else tells me I would be the best glowstick-waver ever.

EVA♥

Advertisements

Life Lately

Hello all!

It’s been quite a while since my last Life Lately post. Things have been interesting, to say the least! I’m trying to navigate a new role at work, one where I get to be more creative and actually write for a living! It’s a little nutty for me to think about, because it’s something that I’ve been wanting to do for quite and yet never quite wrapped my head around the possibility. I even recently published my first blog on my company’s site here. Writing in a professional context, and writing copy more often than not, is quite the change to get used to, but I’m looking forward to learning new tricks, so to speak. That being said, I often come home with my brain feeling like a wrung-out sponge, with most of my energy having gone into whatever tasks I needed to accomplish that day. Sometimes, the idea of slapping away at another keyboard can be a little daunting. I know I’m not alone here, right?

So, when the evenings and weekend roll around, I try to hit the proverbial reset button. Not so much “flatlining,” as I like to call it, more like changing gears. I usually overbook myself and try to get as much done as possible. This past weekend, for example, I spent the majority of my time at my very first work retreat. While the weather was a bit dismal for August, the view from the coastal retreat center was pretty amazing. That, and the bottomless cups of coffee made up for the unending fog. Welcome to the Bay Area, everyone!

IMG_5524 IMG_5522 IMG_5526 IMG_5531 IMG_5515

My Saturday then suddenly went from cups of coffee in the fog, to champagne punch poolside in the course of a few hours. I certainly can’t complain! In all, I have to say that I really enjoyed getting to know all of my coworkers a bit better. Nothing quite says bonding experience like bunking together like you’re back in college! On top of everything else, I was inadvertently thrown into a family dinner party situation. And by situation I mean helping my parents navigate my aunt and uncle’s large going-away dinner at the very last minute. I ended up showing up late, with wet hair, and frantically eating in the kitchen while trying to somehow navigate simultaneously serving tea and socializing with everyone.  This is what I mean by overbooking myself.  In short, while things are going well, they seem a bit hectic lately, to say the leat. I’m hoping I’ll navigate everything gracefully, and not bite off more than I can chew. Hey, this blog is called “Watch Me Juggle” for a reason!

Oh, and I’ve decided to celebrate my birthday all month long. Because I can.

That is all—until next time!

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello all!

It feels like the last few days have stretched on for weeks, not because they’ve been so laborious or tedious, quite the opposite! I have many life updates to get to, and while they’re all (for the most part) very exciting things, today calls for a relaxed Five Things. Before we get into all the craziness that has been my life lately (birthday celebrations, travels, job changes), I wanted to take a quick look back at the less-than crazy (even inspirational) things as of late.

IMG_5268 (1)

Photo: Mary Lee Shalvoy

Why is the photo so naugahyde-esque, you may ask? I recently did a photoshoot with the lovely Mary Lee Shalvoy (whose photos of my legs you can see here), and this was one of the photos I captured in the studio, moments after it was taken. It’s a sneak-peak for now, but I’m sure you’ll be seeing more official shots very soon!
IMG_5308

Just last week I celebrated my friend’s mother’s birthday at Dante Robere Vineyards in Livermore, CA. While Livermore might be the last place that comes to mind when you think of wine, I was so pleasantly surprised. We enjoyed a tacos and live music on the lawn as the sun set—it was such a nice evening!

IMG_5318

I’ve been to my fair share of festivals, flea markets, and fairs as of late. I’ve really been enjoying the art and the hodgepodge of antiques, and this wood painting (I believe the technique of wood-burning is referred to as pyrography) really caught my eye.

IMG_5304

I recently took a quick flight down to LA for a friend’s baby shower, that ended up serving as a mini college reunion of sorts. Following the shower, we spent some time in Santa Monica at The Misfit catching up over cocktails. If you’re ever there, dear readers, ask them for a cookie. You won’t regret it!

IMG_5319

My friend Stephanie is what I would call a plant fanatic. Point to any succulent you see and she would have it’s scientific name ready to go. It’s quite impressive, really, and has made me appreciate them so much more. Too bad I have a bit of a brown thumb.

Happy Wednesday!

EVA ♥

Five Things

Hi everyone!

My Five Things for the week are truly indicative of my life lately. Meaning, that my life has consisted of cold brew coffee/cocktails/coffee cocktails, inspirational Pinterest quotes, snarky T-shirts, and chocolate. In case you haven’t already noticed, I’m a horrible stereotype of a 20-something woman and need to be stopped. But, at the end of the day, at least I’m not accosting you with my crazy outfits from Coachella. You’re welcome.

IMG_4926

Prizefighter is quickly becoming one of my favorite East Bay bars. It has everything you might need: snacks, delicious cocktails, and puppies. I often come here over other spots just to play with stranger’s dogs. They do get bonus points for having a section of their menu dedicated to alcoholic iced coffees. Win!

IMG_4986

There’s the most wonderful little wine shop that sells European cheeses and chocolates. I like to stop by occasionally and grab lunch there while ogling all their treats.

FullSizeRender (1)

My friend Rachel recently introduced me to a marvelous new thing: Creme de Violette. It makes your cocktails this beautiful violet color, and tastes amazing! I like it best in my gin and tonics.

FullSizeRender (2)

Photo c/o Pinterest

Sometimes I wish life could be this simple. Perhaps it’s just up to you! Go get yourself some ice cream and forget about those people, and, although violence is never the answer, I’m sure there are a few individuals out there who merit this quote. Thanks for the wisdom, Frank Ocean.

FullSizeRender

Photo c/o Thug Life Shirts

A friend recently showed me this t-shirt and pronounced that it was entirely me. I also like hiking, as long as I can wear my yoga pants and bring my traveling latte. I could spend a great deal of time perusing all of the tops at Thug Life Shirts– they’re all hilarious. I could never decide on just one.

Until next time!

EVA♥

Five Things

Hello everyone!

Five Things is back! I’ve missed sharing my day-to-day snaps of random things that pique my interest. Photography is not at all my strong suit, but I’m aiming to get better at it. Thank goodness for the nice cameras on the iPhone 6! Without further ado, here are the latest “things”:

IMG_4749

I couldn’t help but take a photo of this beautiful display of flowers in a home decor store in downtown St. Helena. Real or fake? I leave it up to you.

IMG_4823

I recently got a chance to catch up with some old co-workers of mine on the back patio of one of my favorite spots in Hayes Valley. We each ended up ordering a different color of wine. If you guessed that the Sauvignon blanc belonged to me, you are correct!

IMG_4720

My world-traveling friend Rachel brought this little treat for me back from her recent jaunt to Argentina and Antarctica. While we knew it was a cookie, we had no idea what flavor. Apparently Tita is an Argentinian chocolate-covered, lemon cookie sandwich. You learn something new everyday.

IMG_4798

My friend Emily was in town recently, and I dragged her all over the entire Bay Area in search of impressive food and drinks. We actually ended up making two stops at Trouble Coffee in West Oakland, if for the toast alone. Pictured above is their peanut butter and honey variety, but my favorite is easily the cinnamon toast. Nom.

359efb53bf1cd7e1930a8960a662baa4

Image c/o Pinterest

The boss lady and I have been pinning our hearts out on Pinterest lately, and enjoy sending each other things. The above image ended up in my messages one morning with the caption “For my traveler.”

Until next time!

EVA♥

Just a Smile

Hello everyone!

Today, I wanted to write about something that has preoccupied me for some time. To be completely honest, I’ve been a bit frightened to publish this particular post, because it focuses on something I’ve been incredibly self-conscious about for a really, really long time: my teeth.

To make a long story short, when I was seven I slipped and fell while dancing on my great aunt’s slick kitchen floor in Austria, knocking one of my front teeth completely out. Approximately 3 years later, I fell again, and damaged the neighboring tooth. Since then, I’ve spent over 5 years in braces, had two root canals, two tissue graft surgeries, a tooth extraction, a bone graft, and a new tooth implanted. Between that and interesting genetics that left me with an additional missing tooth, I’ve never been entirely happy with my smile.  It’s always been far from perfect, and, on top of that, I’ve spent the last 10 years of my life living with what I jokingly referred to as my “party trick” tooth:

IMG_4351

And a smile that looked like this:

IMG_4352

To say I was self-conscious about it was an understatement.

Even with the fake teeth, I hated looking at photos of myself and seeing the gap and mismatched color of my teeth. I never took the retainer out of my mouth, except to sleep, and, even then, only my good friends had seen me entirely without it. When I traveled, or had an important event, I lived in fear that the retainer would break, and that I would suddenly be without a tooth. It’s quite literally the stuff of nightmares, having your teeth falling out of your head. When I was living with my college roommates, I broke my retainer, or flipper as it’s often called, eating a piece of pizza. I knew I had wonderful friends when, between getting me to laugh uncontrollably in the midst of a rather horrifying situation, they were fully prepared to trek to the local drugstore on their bikes to buy me a tube of Fixodent until I made it to the dentist. They also indulged me when I began to insist that I be photographed from one particular side, as I joked “That’s the side with all my real teeth!”

After years of surgeries and continuous poking around in my mouth, I was both tired and slightly afraid to step into another dentist’s office. My smile has always been a work in progress, but, recently I decided to be both more proactive and optimistic, and go back to the dentist. It’s still a work in progress, but now my smile looks like this:

FullSizeRender (4)

(Forgive the grainy, post-work-out photo. Look at that smile!)

IMG_4348

I had always hoped that one day that my smile would be better. It seems like such a trivial thing, really. I feel fortunate for having so many positive things in my life, on some days, having perfect teeth seemed almost too much to ask. When I was handed the mirror at the end of my most recent dentist appointment, I was startled, and perhaps not in a good way. I had, for so long, resigned myself to the fact that I was the girl who had two fake, gappy, mismatched teeth. I suddenly happy and slightly uncomfortable with my new look, all at the same time. Now that I’ve gotten a little more used to them, I couldn’t be happier. I still have quite a way to go over the next few months, and I’ll keep documenting my progress. In the meantime, I have plenty to smile about.

EVA♥

Why Saying ‘No’ Makes You A Better Person

Hello everyone!

I was stuck in the traffic that is my morning commute and found myself utterly bored. Because texting and driving is heavily frowned upon, I just let my mind wander. I’ve been thinking a lot of deep things about life lately:”What am I going to make for dinner?” “What if I could have gotten that cheaper on eBay?” You know, the usual. So, it surprised me that among the many deep things that I was pondering, I came across what feels like a gem. I like to joke about my lack of “adult” behavior here quite a bit, but I recently realized that there are some very adult things I do on a daily basis that I don’t give that much thought to anymore.  One thing I’ve noticeably become more confident doing over the last few years is simply saying ‘No.’ 

phoebegif

zoeygif

Usually the word ‘no’ has some really strong connotations that come with it. If you say it too often you must be a negative, stubborn, selfish, uncaring, immature person, right?  The awful adjectives could go on and on. We assign it to toddlers, young people with zero-self awareness prone to pitching fits. But, it’s taken me a while to realize that it can be a positive thing too. ‘No’ is appropriate for many occasions, not all of them bad. When it comes to making friends and building relationships I’ve learned to be a little more discerning. Sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to do, but if you have people in your life that you’re incompatible with, or who don’t add much of anything positive, you can say no to them. Be honest, be kind, but still, say no. It’s a much more mature way of going about things than picking fights or leaving them hanging.

You work life might similarly benefit from your new word. Be realistic, if you find yourself running into problems or limitations, you can say no, and maybe spur some change.  It’s perhaps not the most optimistic way of thinking about things but, as someone who isn’t terribly opinionated or outspoken, saying no can empower you in certain situations. Of course, I’m not saying that simply saying no all the time is a realistic way of getting things done, or an effective way of getting out of doing things you don’t want to do. It is important, however, to use it as a tool when you feel yourself deviating from the path you want to go. I realize there’s quite a lot of irony to be found in my writing this, as I’m pretty sure I went on a tirade on Saying ‘Yes’ to things a mere few months ago. With gifs and all! They’re weirdly similar- just two sides of the same coin. The ultimate moral of the story is to take a stand for the things you can do, and want to do, and don’t be afraid! Saying no can be a means of sticking up for yourself, really. If you’re able to draw these lines for yourself, I suspect you might garner some respect from the people you would least expect it from. I hate to say it, but you might have a little more respect for yourself, too.

That’s all for now! I’ll be back soon with more incredibly deep things.

EVA ♥

Five Things

Hello everyone,

It’s that time again! No, it’s not just any ordinary Wednesday, but it’s #NationalDogDay!

Is it just me, or is just about every-other-day some sort of hashtag something-or-other? #NationalDanceDay, #NationalDoughnutDay, #NationalWatermelonDay- exactly who is in charge of making up these supposed “national” holidays? Well-played Instagram, you’re giving us more and more excuses to post unnecessary photos of food on a daily basis. And who doesn’t love trending topics on social media? Don’t get me wrong, I plan to take full advantage of #NationalDogDay by kicking off this week’s Five Things with some pictures of adorable puppies, courtesy of Buzzfeed, of course!

Let’s begin with Looking at These Awesome Dogs, and go from there…

enhanced-buzz-14025-1440501257-7

jawssh.com

This was captioned: “Look at this dog, who’s not quite sure how he got there or how to get down, but he damn sure doesn’t want to admit it.” His guilty face and slight confusion says it all. Now you can say you’ve gotten your oversize puppy fix for the week!
IMG_4075

Speaking of oversize puppies, I found this chubby cat looking rather regal enduring the hot weather we’ve been having lately. Or perhaps she was just staring at the birds outside? Either way, she’s quite the entertaining subject.

IMG_4083

I’ve been spending a bit of time wandering about airports lately, and these fabulous Essie vending machines seem to have become somewhat of a fixture. Sure, why not give yourself a fun mani while waiting for your delayed flight? It seems like a great way to pass the time!

IMG_4081

@Mallorylucille, designlovefest.com

My good friend Emily shared this beautiful design with me on my birthday. It’s from artist Mallory Lucille Rose, by way of DesignLoveFest. I think it would make a great wall print, don’t you?

IMG_4141

If you read my previous post, you’ll recall that I went on some Las Vegas adventures quite recently. The photo above is from my friends’ Bellagio suite overlooking The Strip.  Pictured is the “chandelier” that hung over their formal dining table. Not too shabby…

Until next time,

EVA♥

Don’t Sell Yourself Short

Hello dear readers!

Longtime no…write? As usual, I’ve been off on adventures, this time to the single’s motherland: Las Vegas. Don’t worry, the “what happens in Vegas” rules don’t apply in this case- stay tuned for all the reasons I enjoy visiting Sin City so much. And, in case you were wondering, Yes, it was really hot out there.

Today, I was inspired to write for a number of different reasons. When I get back from vacation, regardless of where I’m going, I tend to get a bit introspective about life, in general. Relaxing and thinking about the day’s interactions also helps pass up the otherwise tedious commute hours. But, what primarily got the wheels turning was a conversation I had with one of my girlfriends today. Now, I can only speak from experience, but there seems to be an epidemic of bright, talented young women out there who are self-deprecating to a fault. Disparaging might be a better word for it. I consider myself very lucky to have such wonderful friends, they’re all ladies that I admire, and they have qualities that I aspire to embody. It completely baffles me when they turn around and fixate on the few things they dislike about themselves, or compare themselves to other people. Of course, being on the outside, it’s easy for me to tell them that they’re absolutely crazy, that they have so much to be proud of and that the people in their lives think so highly of them. It’s interesting that our friends almost always, in so many words, think we’re selling ourselves short.

cheerup

I’m going to go ahead and throw this piece of advice out there:

Don’t sell yourself short. Period.

Surprise, surprise, like most pieces of “helpful” advice, this is easier said than done. Sometimes, you even need to stand up for yourself a little bit, like Karen Walker over here:

karenwalkersecrets

karenfabulous

I had a little bump in the road a while back, and no one was more surprised than me when I, quite literally stood up for myself and announced: “Um, wait. I’m amazing!” As women, we’re told not to brag, not to tell people what to do, or how it is, but when did this manifest into sabotaging our own self-confidence? Just because a relationship or job isn’t the best for us, doesn’t mean that there’s something fundamentally wrong with us. It takes quite a bit of self-assessment to figure this out, and that certainly isn’t easy. It’s possible, though. Like I’ve said before, there will always be things in our lives that we will want to “upgrade,” or paths we occasionally wish we had taken. But, sometimes we need to stand up for ourselves, because no one else can really do it for us.

EVA♥

Almost 30.

Hello everyone!

Yesterday, I turned 28.

Yep, no denial here. 28. As many times as I joke that I’m 21 or 22 (people believe me, which is slightly awkward…), I’m really almost 30. I had a full day of completely indulgent things that made me happy- I got my hair blown out, went to tea at Neiman Marcus, had a glass of champagne with my mother, and a big family dinner. I’ve been told before that no “adult” takes their birthday off, so I ran the risk of feeling like a kid, and took the day off anyway. No adult thinks that their birthday is something to celebrate, apparently.

IMG_4039

IMG_4041

IMG_4050

IMG_4049

You see, I’m almost 30. I have friends who are married, friends who have children, friends who want to buy houses. Every year, my friend Rachel asks me what she calls the “‘Birthday Question:’ What has it taken you __ years to learn?” This year, I shared something that I know to be true, yet I still think I’m learning it, if that makes sense. It’s a bit like that saying “comparison is the thief of joy.”

Many of us start our adult lives the same way- high school then college, graduation then a job. What people don’t tell you is that everyone’s lives tend to go on their own course from there. Some of your friends will leave the country, some of your friends will have babies, some might join the army. There’s no right or wrong way to go about things. Comparing your lives at this point, is pretty much an exercise in futility.  Other people might try, even if you don’t. They’ll compare your life to how their’s was or is. So, that’s what I learned this year. Or what I’m trying to learn.

Sometimes I think about what my life would look like if it had gone differently, or gone the way I thought it might when I was a teenager. And it makes me sad to think about- I certainly wouldn’t be the same person I am today. It still seems funny to say that I’m proud of the things that I’ve done- I work in a field I love, I have a place I can call my own, I own some beautiful shoes, and, as of yesterday, a brand-new Nespresso machine (Yay! Fancy!). This month, I have plans to go to Vegas and Washington D.C. Just for fun, and to see new things. I’m like a real adult. Who knew?

I’m almost 30, and I think it’s hard to be grateful sometimes, but I try everyday. I think it’s human nature to fixate on the one thing that we don’t yet have, or the things we think we’re missing. I’m almost 30, and I’m trying to make myself into the person that I really want to be. No one’ going to do it for me. At my birthday dinner yesterday, I had ten people there to celebrate, many of whom have known me since before I can remember. We had some really good food, told stories, and I laughed so hard, I thought I might wet my pants. People from all over wished me a happy birthday. It made me feel special, but not in that little-kid way. I have a fridge full of mini cupcakes, but also a really nice bottle of brut rose.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

EVA♥